Friday, March 31, 2017

Demo Update

I hope that COLOR TV sign is saved!
Well, it looks like the old motels on the western approach to the city will finally have their date with the bulldozers. 
According to an article in the Morning Journal on March 20, “Lorain City Council voted 10-0 to award a contract to knock down Erieview Motel, 2800 W. Erie Ave., and Shoreway Motel, 3945 W. Erie Ave.”

Shoreway Motel up close
Erieview Motel
The Parkview Motel and Lake Motel will be dealt with in the near future by Council.
Some of the motels were supposed to have been demolished by October 2015.
On the other hand, one structure seems to have been awarded a stay of execution this week: the closed bait shop that once served as the clubhouse for the Lorain Yacht Club. The Morning Journal reported (here) on March 26 that the city is seeking proposals for a seasonal service or concession stand at the dock, known as Hot Waters. This includes the Hot Waters Bait Shop. The article noted, “Any proposal using the building must include a capital improvement plan with proof of finances, according to the city.
“Council agreed it should be razed, but wanted the city to seek possible concession providers this year because the site is well used by Lorain anglers.”
It will be interesting to see if a proposal is submitted. I hope so.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ohio Turnpike Signs That Time Forgot

On a Sunday afternoon in late December 2016, I had to make a trip to Elyria. On the way home, I shot this photo of some ancient street signs located where Lorain Boulevard meets Lake Avenue.

The Ohio Turnpike sign is a rare die-cut version that you just don’t see any more. The sign pointing in the direction of Midway Mall has seen better days too – much like the mall itself.

That’s a Family Dollar in the photo on the left in the background.

While preparing this post, I looked at an aerial on Bing Maps of where the sign is located. Strangely enough, the now-demolished former Greyhound station was still in the photo where the Family Dollar is now located.

I remember having to catch a bus at that Greyhound station, but I’ll be doggoned if I can remember when that was – and where I was going!

****
I just dug through my photo files and came up with another one of those faded, die-cut Ohio Turnpike signs. This one (below) is located in Huron near the intersection of Route 6 and Main Street on the south side of the highway looking east. I photographed it in 2016.

Interestingly, the Google Maps view from 2013 shows a different sign (below). Maybe somebody clobbered it with their car, necessitating dragging the older one out of retirement as a replacement.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dave Zupkovich and His Orchestra Play the Showboat – 1950

I received a nice email from Kelli D’Agnese recently regarding my blog series on the Showboat last month.

If Kelli's name sounds familiar, it might be because her grandfather was Peter D’Agnese, well-known in Lorain for his popular restaurant on Broadway in the 1960s, as well as his sandwich & pizza shop on Root Road in the 1970s.
This time Kelli was writing about her mother’s side of the family – the Serbian side. She wrote,  "I have something you might like to see. My great uncle, (my grandmother’s brother-in-law) Dave Zupkovich, from Youngstown, was a popular Serbian tamburitza musician from the 1940s until his early passing on in 1963. He had several orchestras and they traveled all over.

"I just received these pictures from a friend in Canton, Ohio, whose father also played with Dave. In this photo, Dave and his orchestra play at the Lorain Showboat in 1950.

From left, Joe Marmilich, Joe Matacic, John Krilcic and Dave Zupkovich
The photo had a nice souvenir cover on it too with great artwork, indicating it was taken at the Showboat.
Kelli knew that the back cover of the photo would be of interest to me too. "Note the name of the photographer that was on the back of the photo!” she noted. "Enjoy!!”
I was surprised to see that Katherine and Alex Visci were listed as the photographers.
Of course, longtime blog readers might remember that well-known bandleader Alex Visci was my brother’s and my trumpet teacher back in the late 1960s and early 70s. (I wrote about him here, herehere and here.) 
I remembered that Mr. Visci’s wife was a photographer. With his active career and connections in the local nightclub scene, it makes sense that she would have an opportunity to use her talents shooting candids at the Showboat.
Kelli’s great uncle achieved quite a bit of success in his musical field. Dave Zupkovich and his Balkan Recording Artists made many records on the Balkan Records label.
Courtesy tamburitza78s.blogspot.com
Visit the Tamburitza and more blog to learn more about Dave Zupkovich’s career. And in the meantime, here’s a nice sample of his music.
Thanks for sharing, Kelli!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Just When Was the Lorain Lighthouse Built? – Part 2

There really is no controversy regarding the dates associated with the construction of the Lorain Lighthouse. It just depends on whether you want to celebrate the anniversary of a lighthouse under construction but functioning, or one that is totally complete.

It is easy to go online and find the various government documents with the lighthouse construction progress reports. Site construction was expected to start in early July 1916, and was planned to be done in 1917, according to this report in the 1916 Reports of the Department of Commerce (below).

The 1917 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Lighthouses to the Secretary of Commerce included this update (below). The permanent light and fog signal were expected to be installed early in the 1918 season.
But by the time of the June 30, 1918 Reports of the Department of Commerce, the Lighthouse still wasn't quite done (see below).
Finally, the 1919 report provides a nice description (spread out over two pages) of the now completed lighthouse.
Note that the lighthouse came in about 25 bucks under the $35,000 budget. I hope the keepers had a good party with the leftover loot.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Just When Was the Lorain Lighthouse Built? – Part 1

The Lorain Lighthouse – known as the “Jewel of the Port” – is celebrating its 100th year anniversary on June 30, 217. That alone should bring a tear to the eye of anyone who lovingly calls Lorain their hometown. It’s been the symbol of the city for a long time now, in good times and bad.

Many of us have only seen it from certain popular vantage points, such as Hot Waters. Thankfully, the Sunset Dinner Cruises make it possible to see up close what most of us have only seen from afar.

The official Lorain Lighthouse website has an interesting explanation as to how the 2017 date was selected to celebrate the centennial. It notes, “Many dates are given for when the Lighthouse we see today was built. An article from the Lorain Journal, September 23, 1953 indicates 1898, with the title, “Lorain’s Lighthouse in 55th Year of Duty”, but that date isn’t close.

“Most sources give 1909 as the date, but the blueprint for the current structure is dated 1916. Information from the Lighthouse Board in the National Archives states: “On June 30, 1917, the concrete structure had been erected, roof completed except shingling, metal work of lantern erected, and concrete forms removed. Temporary light in commission shone from new lantern. It is expected to install permanent light this season and place fog signal commission early next season.” Also, an act of October 22, 1913 appropriated $35,000 for a light and fog station at Lorain Harbor.
“Thus the date 1917 is the most accurate available for the construction of the current Lorain Lighthouse structure.”
In preparation for the big anniversary, I decided to see if I could come up with some newspaper coverage of the lighthouse under construction, as well as its dedication. 
Some of the regional newspapers mentioned its construction. The Norwalk Reflector of August 16, 1916 noted, “The pierhead of the Lorain breakwater, erected ten years ago, has sunk eighteen inches it was discovered today. The pier is a concrete structure 22 by 22 feet in dimensions. The sinking was discovered when work of building the new lighthouse and foghorn station on the pier started. The new building will be 50 feet above the water and will be a three-story concrete and steel structure.
The Sandusky Register in its March 12, 1919 edition also made reference to the Lorain lighthouse in an article explaining the structure’s light and fog signal to mariners. The article referred to the lighthouse as “the new structure, gray square building with square tower rising from southeast corner, recently completed.”

Here is what the Register article was quoting from: a 1919 Notice to Mariners.

From the 1919 Index to Notices to Mariners
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any mention at all of the lighthouse on the available Lorain newspaper microfilm.  I checked both the June 30, 1917 date as well as the March 1919 date mentioned in the Sandusky paper.
I still have a few more months to try and find a dedication article. We’ll see. 
Perhaps the beloved lighthouse – remotely located as it is and not accessible to anyone without a boat – silently went to work with no fanfare at all.
The Lorain Lighthouse as it looked in 1919
(Courtesy lighthousefriends.com)

UPDATE
I understand now why I was unable to find something in the vintage newspapers for the June 30, 1917 date. That date is a government fiscal year-ending date found in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Lighthouses to the Secretary of Commerce. The construction update information associated with that date is merely a summation of progress made up to that point. The June 30th date does not have special significance.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Old Fire Truck in Cascade Park – Part 2

I reached out to Rick Kurish for help researching the old fire truck that used to be located in the playground at Cascade Park. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it easier for Rick by accidentally (and feeblemindedly) telling him it was an old train!
Rick responded, “My family frequented Cascade Park at least once or twice a year from the mid 1950s until the early 1960s, and while I and my brothers were all over the playground, I have no recollection of an actual railroad locomotive in the park.”
Once I informed Rick of my mistake, it didn’t take long for him to remember the fire truck.
“Ah, a fire truck, not a train!” he responded. “Yes, I remember the fire truck. It sat near the building that served as a concession stand. I was never too interested in the fire truck, but my younger brothers spent some time playing on it. I was more into the slides and swings --- especially the corkscrew slide.”
It didn’t take long at all for Rick came through as usual.
“Attached is a neat article from the Chronicle-Telegram of June 8,1956 which details the fire truck that the city of Elyria retired and donated to Cascade Park. The city apparently bought the truck new in 1929. Perhaps your correspondent who played on the truck in the 1960s will find the article interesting.”
Here is the article (below). It reveals that the fire truck was a 1929 Ahrens-Fox. The company was based in Ohio.

I sent the article to Fritz, who was happy to get the information about the fire truck that he remembered so well.
“It's hard to believe that it was put out to pasture in the park with only a couple thousand miles on it,” observed Fritz. “I'm sure it was well-loved and played on by all children who visited Cascade Park. I know by the time I first played on it the fire truck had been there at least 10 yrs. from what your article states from 1956. By then it was becoming well-worn when I first remember climbing upon it.
“I always remember it had that huge brass or chrome ball mounted on the front which I presume was part of the pumping unit. The next question for all is whatever happened to it when it was removed from the park and when?  Lets hope it ended up being preserved and restored somewhere. Being a 1929 Ahrens-Fox model, I would think that by today’s standards, it would be quite a collectible model.  
“Although I did not live in Elyria, we would go there frequently for summer band concerts, and on Sunday drives for picnics in my dad’s Model A Ford. We would also go there in the winter to go sledding down the hill.
“Thank you so much for searching and finding the information from my memories of the fire truck from 50 or so years ago!”
And thanks to Rick, a little bit of Cascade Park history – retrieved from the Chronicle-Telegram – is available online for others who remember the fire truck from their childhood.
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Click here to visit the official Ahrens-Fox website. And to see a restored 1929 Ahrens-Fox fire truck, click here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Old Fire Truck in Cascade Park – Part 1

Although I don't mention most of them on the blog, I get emails almost every day from people asking me if I have any information about something they remembered from being a kid.
I received an interesting email like that from Fritz Kuenzel in late February. The name seemed familiar, since I remembered that my brother Ken had played trumpet in a Musicians Union band that included two gentlemen named Hans and Fritz Kuenzel. (It was hard to forget them because the Katzenjammer Kids of comic strip fame have the same first names.)
Fritz’s email revealed the musical connection – and brought up a bit of Cascade Park trivia as well.
Fritz wrote, “I was reading one of your articles on Cascade Park at Elyria, Ohio. As a young boy in the 1960's, my father played in a local musicians union and they would periodically do concerts during the summer months at Cascade Park.
“My parents would take us along and we would play in the park playground during the band concerts. There used to be a very old 1930's era fire truck that sat in the sand in the playground for kids to play on. I have fond memories of climbing and playing on it.
“I was wondering, what ever happened to that old fire truck? What manufacture and year was it? Was it an old retired Elyria fire truck?  A friend of mine who grew up in Elyria also remembers the old fire truck and we talked about it last week on the phone.”
I traded emails with Fritz, who responded with more information about his father. “My Dad, Fritz R. Kuenzel, played tuba in the band,” he explained. ““I was named Fritz N. after him. His twin brother Hans played trombone in Dixieland bands, both are 82 yrs. old. Hans named his son Hans also.” 
A quick online search revealed that the Kuenzel brothers have had a long musical career. An item in the April 23, 1945 Chronicle-Telegram about the Avon Lake High School Spring Music Festival mentions that “Hans and Fritz Kuenzel will play a duet, “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen.” Another Avon Lake High School concert mentioned in the November 25, 1947 C-T notes that “Hans and Fritz Kuenzel, members of the band, will play a trombone solo and a tuba solo, respectively.”
But getting back to the fire truck. Researching it was more difficult than I thought, and I only found a photo of the playground (with no truck) and few recent online mentions of the truck in the Chronicle-Telegram
Cascade Park playground photo courtesy of
The Great Elyria Time Machine website
An article from the C-T June 13, 2014 included this reminisce. “When I was a kid, my grandparents lived just above Cascade Park on Bath Street, and one of the biggest thrills of my kid life was getting to play in the park. This was before anything in our world was scary or dangerous, so it was ok for parents to let their kids climb all over a rusted out fire truck with jagged chrome edges and steel springs sticking up through the seats.”
Since I had come up short in my research, I decided to ask Rick Kurish for his help. Rick is a great researcher who has helped me many times. 
If anyone could come up with something about the Cascade Park fire truck, he could.
And he did!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Harvest House Grand Opening Ad – 1966

One of the images that Michael Brown sent me during our correspondence in January about Midway Mall is the above ad for the Grand Opening of the Harvest House Cafeteria. The full-page ad ran in the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram as part of the special section about the opening of Midway Mall in late September 1966.

It’s a great ad, showing both the interior and exterior of the store, as well as apparently the first of the ongoing roast turkey dinner specials. (I’m surprised their cafeteria advertising slogan wasn’t “It’s Always Thanksgiving at Harvest House!”)

Since my original posts about Harvest House back in January, I’ve also scared up a bigger version of the postcard showing the interior and exterior of typical restaurants. You can click on for that “You are there” experience.

I also found this matchbook currently on Ebay.
It's Sunday afternoon while I'm preparing this post, and it’s almost time for me to get started on my chili. But for some reason, all I can think of is roast turkey with creamy mashed potatoes, giblet gravy and a warm roll and butter.

And a choice of vegetable.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Midway Mall Reflections – Part 2

To Michael, it’s not that surprising that the downtowns were unprepared to compete with Midway Mall.
“We lived in Grafton from 1962 to 1978,” he noted. “I remember the Elyria downtown chain stores were dingy and old with wooden floors and bad ventilation.  Going there involved parallel parking and parking meters.
“The Mall was like an Apollo rocket. The original cinema had a 60’ screen with a working silent curtain. Not only was the mall heated in the winter, but in that era most homes were not air-conditioned in the summer.”
Michael also remembers – like everyone else who shopped there in the 1960s and 70s – the dripping vertical columns at the Mall that were so interesting to watch. 
An article that Michael sent me explains that it was called the WonderFall. 

So why does Michael have such a keen interest in Midway Mall?  
“My mother was secretary to the Mall manager so it overtook our family life,” he explained. “As a teenager I worked for the Mall management in the early 1970s,” he added.
He has a theory about how the new anchor stores at the Mall basically came in under the radar, playing down what would eventually happen to their outlets in the downtowns.
Cleveland Press photo of Midway Mall Sears
circa Sept. 1970 (currently on Ebay)
“I suspect Sears was coy about the downtown stores because they needed the building permits,” he noted, “and deferential local officials bedazzled by money coming into build the mall probably didn’t press it.  
“We have to remember how much more rural and remote Lorain County was in that era. For Higbees of Downtown Cleveland to open in Lorain County was a major wow!  The mid-1960s were the peak years of the 20th century manufacturing economy. Lorain County was at the center of it.
“I don’t know about you, but nearly everything we bought for our household from toys to clothing came from Sears!”
I would tend to agree with Michael on that. We picked our clothes out of the Sears catalog, as well as our Christmas presents.  
Michael has a few more memories about Lorain County.
“As a Graftonian, Lorain was a distant place,” he admitted. “I don’t think I ever made it to downtown Lorain until I was at LCCC in the late 1970s. I had a part-time job at new bank (TransOhio) at Oberlin and Tower.  
“I do remember a small beach and marina where my uncle had a boat, but I also remember the dead perch littering the beach.”  
Michael left Lorain County for Ohio State in 1979. After that he worked in the Ohio House of Representatives, and then in Washington DC, before his present post at Barrick Gold USA.
“Now I am bicoastal between Washington DC and Nevada. I have seen the same boom and bust in Las Vegas in the last decade.”
He did not forget his Lorain County roots though.  
“I was back for a high school reunion and I took the Saturday to walk into every place I once worked, no matter what is there today, and introduced myself!”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Midway Mall Reflections – Part 1

Back in January, I received an interesting email from Michael Brown. Michael is a former Lorain Countian who has done very well for himself. He grew up in Grafton in the 1960s, went to Ohio State in the late 1970s and is now President of BarrickGold USA, the nation’s largest gold mining company.
From Nevada, Michael reads my blog to connect with his Lorain County roots. He shared some thoughts regarding the coming of Midway Mall to Lorain County in the 1960s, as well as its effect on the downtowns of Lorain and Elyria. He also sent me some newspaper articles, as well as some images to supplement some of my previous posts.
Here’s one from the June 8, 1964 Chronicle-Telegram announcing the multi-million dollar mall project.
“The announcement of the Mall was not only front page above the fold, but was above the CT’s banner!” observed Michael. “It was interesting how the Mall was designed to replace a downtown. At the opening, it had a community room, a barbershop, a stockbroker, a drug store, pet shop, etc. I don’t remember the community room being used much (it was in the original south mall area) and I think became a storage room. The Mall had an apartment where the manager resided.  I found the rarely mentioned coffee shop at JC Penny to be the best place for Mall workers for lunch or dinner.  
“What should be noted was how the community celebrated the opening of the Midway Mall. No discussion about what would happen the downtowns of Lorain and Elyria. The focus was on temperature controlled shopping at a pleasant 72 degrees. Lorain County was booming with the opening of the auto plants.  
Sears store at Midway Mall circa Sept. 1970
(Cleveland Press photo currently on Ebay)
“Sears was the driving force for the Mall,” noted Michael, and for a very good reason. “The original chain stores built in the downtowns of medium size cities were unable to expand and lacked adequate parking. We tend to forget that Sears was to the 1960s what Walmart is in retailing today.
Another article from the January 1, 1965 C-T reported, “Another all-time record for employment may be in store for Lorain County in 1965.” According to Michael, this was another distraction that kept city officials from noticing that their downtowns would soon be suffering because of the mall.
“Look at the number of people hired and the taxes paid,” observed Michael. “Booming communities always assume the boom will go on forever.”
Next: More Midway Mall reminisces including the story behind the dripping wires

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vintage St. Patrick’s Day Ads – 1967

Well, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s time to post some vintage ads from the Journal with that particular theme. These three ads all appeared in the Journal just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 1967 – 50 years ago today.

Since I’ve spent most of the week blogging about car washes and auto dealerships, it’s appropriate that the one at the top of this post is for Si Gary Dodge. The ad uses an unusually pie-faced leprechaun and some nice headline type.

This ad for the Reidy Scanlan Company (below) has great typography too. But it also has a leprechaun that (to me, anyway) seems to hearken back to the 1800s when Irishmen were depicted as ape-like in editorial cartoons. (But I’m not offended; besides, I was working on a bunch of bananas from the grocery store earlier in the week.)

Lastly in this 1967 St. Patrick’s Day Parade of ads is this one for Casey’s Drive-in. In this case, the ad steers clear of leprechauns and just plunks a shamrock onto the layout so as not to take away from Casey the mascot.
Like me, you might be wondering what “Faith an’ Begorra” means. Apparently it is a cliché, a sort of mild oath that evolved from “By my Faith” and “By God.” 
One online source said that real Irishmen never say it without a tongue planted firmly in their cheek, as it is an example of a stereotypical Irish expression.
Anyway, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Atkinson Williams New Showroom – March 1956

Ford has long been a popular automobile brand for Lorainites, even before the plant was built on Baumhart Road in the late 1950s.

And here’s an ad for a Lorain Ford dealership of yesteryear, announcing its new home at 1530 Kansas Avenue. The dealership: Atkinson Williams. The very stylized ad shown above ran in the Lorain Journal on March 5, 1956.

Previously, the dealership had called 1735 Broadway home since the mid-1940s. (It had started out briefly at 1803 Broadway in the early 1940s.)

Atkinson Williams lasted until around 1963 when the Ford dealership took a new name: George May Ford. ( I mentioned its car wash a few days ago here on the blog.)

By the 1970s, the dealership was Buckeye Ford. A change in automobile brands took place at 1530 Kansas Avenue in the early 1980s, when O’Malley Dodge moved into the vacant business.

The former dealership building was eventually demolished and is now part of the Emerson Network Power Energy property at 1510 Kansas Avenue.

Nowadays, Lorain doesn’t even have a new car dealership in its city limits. You have to head to Amherst, Vermilion, Sheffield Village, Avon or Avon Lake.

However, a forlorn image of the former Kansas Avenue automobile dealership remains on Bing Maps – for now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Grand Opening of Robo-Wash – 1966

Since I featured the Grand Opening of Ace Car Wash yesterday, I might as well shine a soapy spotlight on their Colorado Avenue competitor as well: Robo-Wash. (Plus, the ad is timely. Robots have been in the news lately, increasingly seen as a menace to humanity – not only taking jobs away from humans, but possibly enslaving them at some futuristic date.)

The above ad appeared in the Journal on August 5, 1966. It's kind of neat in that it depicts the machinery behind the washing process. Similarly to the Ace Car Wash ad yesterday, it lists various prizes that could be won (all car washes) during the grand opening celebration.

Unlike Ace Car Wash, Robo-Wash apparently sold gasoline as well.

Robo-Wash and Ace Car Wash were really only competitors for a little while, since Ace became the car wash for George May Ford sometime around 1967. Robo-Wash kept right on washing into the mid-70s.

Chalk one up for the robots, I guess.

****
Don't forget the visit the Agility Nut's website, which features roadside architecture from the 1920s to the 1970s, including three whole pages vintage car wash photos (including one devoted to Robo-Wash and its uniquely shaped buildings).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Grand Opening of Ace Car Wash – March 1956

Back in the 1950s, when a new local business was launched, the owners inevitably took out either a full-page or half-page Grand Opening ad in the Journal. It was a festive occasion, with plenty of prizes to win if you stopped by, and local radio remote broadcasts that added to the festivities. The ads also included the names of the bank, contractors and suppliers involved, along with congratulatory messages.

And that’s what’s going on in the above ad for Ace Car Wash, which ran in the Lorain Journal on March 14, 1957 – 60 years ago today. The ad also reveals the people behind the business: owners T. Dulio and T. Burke, as well as the manager, Phil Soto.

Ace Car Wash had previously been located on the other side of the street at 1376 Colorado. (That stretch of Colorado is a real car wash haven, considering that Robo-Wash was located just a little down the street at 922 Colorado.)

Anyway, Ace Car Wash became the car wash for George May Ford around 1967. Then the car wash went vacant around 1970 before being revived as Mitey Kleen Car Wash. It was briefly Ace Car Wash again a year later before going vacant for the last time.

Its car wash days over, the property became Ohio Auto Body in the mid-1970s.

Today, the building sits on Colorado Avenue, waiting for its next useful period.

****
UPDATE (March 16, 2017)
I received a nice email from Todd Burke a few days ago. Todd lives in Nashville, TN but grew up in Lorain in the 60's – with a family connection to the car wash.
Todd wrote, “My family owned Ace Car Wash and I worked there as a kid around 1970.
“My uncle was Tom Dulio and my father was Todd Burke.”
I asked Todd if his uncle was related to well-known local musician and band leader Jimmy Dulio.
“My uncle and Jimmy were brothers. My uncle also worked at the coal and ore docks and my father was a newscaster at WEOL.”
I also asked Todd about the building, with its two smaller bays and one large one. Were there always three bays, and did the building require a lot of modification to be used as an auto body shop?
“The third bay was added later to make room for detailing work such as waxing, buffing and steam cleaning engines,” wrote Todd. “For the body shop, I don't think there was a lot of retrofitting. They just used the available space to make up what they needed.”
Todd remembers how the car wash was a busy place in its heyday.
“I can remember on Saturday's the line would wrap around the building and down to the A&P,” noted Todd. “Sunny cold days were the busiest. Back then, McDonalds was right across the street – handy for lunch!”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Lorain Fraternal Order of Eagles Burn Their Mortgage – March 1946

The Eagles Building in Lorain was in the news last month when it was announced that the nonprofit group associated with the FireFish Festival (which I enjoy poking fun at) is to acquire the four-story structure.

Well, back in March of 1946, the Lorain Aerie of Eagles was getting ready to finally burn the $225,000 mortgage on its building, which was dedicated back on March 15, 1925.

A mortgage-burning ball was to be held on Saturday, March 16 with music for dancing furnished by Sammy Gerace. Featured vocalists were Kenneth Buda and the Rusty Pipers quartet.

Amazingly, on Sunday a class of 200 candidates were to be initiated into the Eagles!

Several pages of the Lorain Journal was dedicated to the big mortgage-burning event on March 13, 1946 – 71 years ago today. Below is one page of that section.

Back in 2012, I did a “Then and Now” feature on the Eagles Building that included a roll call of businesses that occupied the street level spaces, including the much beloved Cane’s Surplus.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Winter's Not Over Yet – March 9, 1957

Unusually warm weather a few weeks ago lulled us into the false sense of security that winter was over and an early spring was coming. But the cold spell in store for us this weekend reminds us that winter is not quite over yet.

And winter wasn't done yet sixty years ago yesterday in Lorain, either. The city had just received a two-inch snowfall, with more light flurries expected.

Here's a nice photo of Lakeview Park that ran on the front page of the Journal on Saturday, March 9, 1957 with the weather story. Off in the distance you can see the B&O Coal Dock.
Now that’s the Lakeview Park we Lorain Baby Boomers remember (except for the snow): the skimpy beach, the hand railings and no boardwalk.
This (below) should refresh your memory, and put you in the mood for summer too.
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Almost forgot to wish my younger brother Ed (seen in that photo of my family's 1958 Savoy last week) a Happy Birthday! (He's 56, so that makes me an old man I guess.)